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Lassa Fever: Ebonyi Ministry of Health Records 25 Cases, 10 Deaths In Six Weeks

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The Ebonyi Ministry of Health has revealed that Lassa Fever has claimed the lives of 10 individuals in the state between January 4th and February 16th.

According to the statement released in Abakaliki by the Disease Surveillance Notification Officer of the ministry, Sampson Orogwu, 25 people were infected, including two healthcare workers.

Orogwu noted that out of the 25 infected individuals, 16 were male, and nine were female. Among the deceased are a pregnant woman and two children.

The affected local government areas include Onicha, Ikwo, Ezza North, Ebonyi, Izzi, Ohaukwu, and Abakaliki, with the highest number of cases recorded in the Hausa quarters and Nkaliki areas of Abakaliki.

Residents are urged to promptly report suspected cases to the ministry, as treatment is free.

The State Epidemiologist, Ogbonna Nwambeke, also emphasised in the statement that the state government is actively collaborating with relevant partners to contain the spread of the disease.

He called for increased logistical support to enhance surveillance and community engagement to mitigate risk factors associated with the disease.

Precautionary measures advised include refraining from bush burning, avoiding consumption of rats, and avoiding contact with surfaces touched by infected individuals. Furthermore, maintaining high personal and environmental hygiene standards, such as proper food and utensil handling, is recommended.

Nwambeke expressed gratitude for the state government’s provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to healthcare workers at the National Obstetrics Fistula Centre, emphasising its importance in safeguarding lives and preventing further transmission.

The Disease

Lassa fever is a viral disease that causes hemorrhagic fever (VHF). It can be transmitted by humans or rats infected with Lassa virus.

It is common in West Africa. The symptoms of Lassa fever are mostly mild and can range from fever to headache, general weakness and malaise. Pregnant people are at incredibly high risk of severe complications and miscarriage.

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